DIABETES UK is urging school pupils across Swindon to take part in a competition raising awareness of Type 1 diabetes.

The Diabetes in School project is looking for entrants to make their own short film, up to three minutes in length, highlighting how young people and schools cope with people who suffer from diabetes.

The competition, open to those aged between 11 and 17, aims to highlight and improve the care available to those with the condition.

For students to take part in the competition they will need their school’s permission. There are two categories that students can submit a film for; best individual film and best group film which is limited to no more than six people.

The entries will be judged by panel being led by actress Elinor Crawley, who starred in the film Submarine, and has Type 1 diabetes.

Elinor Crawley said: “I am absolutely delighted to be on the judging panel for the Diabetes in School short film competition. It is a fun and engaging way for young people with Type 1 diabetes and their peers to tell their stories about diabetes and share a serious health message across schools.

“I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when I was nine-years-old, I remember feeling very overwhelmed trying to manage the condition in school.

"My primary school was quite resistant to adapt at first; my mum had to accompany me on every school trip and I wasn’t allowed to test or inject without her there at lunchtimes.

“If it hadn’t been for my amazing diabetes nurse calling the headteacher, she would never have visited my class and explained to my teachers and peers what diabetes was. I think it’s so important that schools work closely with parents, diabetes nurses and children and young people with diabetes.

"The Diabetes in School short film competition is a great way to help make this happen. I’m really looking forward to seeing the films that are submitted.”

Shortlisted entrants will be invited to a ceremony in London on December 12 when the winners will be announced.

Winners will receive prizes for themselves and their school including iMac desktop computers, iPad Airs 2, and GroPro cameras. Anyone interested in taking part has until November 16 to submit their entries.

Claire Gordon, head of Diabetes UK south west, said: “We know that many schools in Swindon are doing a fantastic job of supporting children and young people with Type 1 diabetes, and since the introduction of a new law in England to improve support in school for students with medical conditions, there has been huge improvements to the way diabetes support is delivered in schools.

“But we want to see all schools getting this right as poor care in school can stop children and young people with diabetes from fully participating in their education, and is also putting their health and wellbeing at great risk.

“Diabetes is a serious condition and we understand that some schools may have concerns about how they can best support children and young people with Type 1 diabetes, which is why we have created free resources for schools and parents to help them to get the right care in place and created the Diabetes in School short film competition to get schools talking about diabetes.”

All of the films submitted will be available to view on Diabetes UK’s YouTube channel.

For more information visit www.diabetes.org.uk/short-film-competition